February 11, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 73  

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NEWS

Candidate gets stiff penalty for infraction

By Marshall Bellamy
Gazette Staff

The University Students’ Council elections committee has come to a decision on presidential candidate Kathy Robineau’s unintentional infraction of the election bylaws when she solicited visitors to her website for their student numbers.

“She was given a 20 point fine,” said USC chief returning officer James Guttman, leaving Robineau with 10 more points before she gets disqualified from the presidential race.

According to Guttman, the bylaws classify Robineau’s offence as a disqualifiable one. “We looked at the entire situation and we determined that 20 points was an appropriate number to give.”

Guttman would not specifically comment on whether the decision was based on Robineau’s lack of intention in making the offence or his inability to recognize the infraction when he reviewed and approved the website.

“I think intent had a lot to do with it,” Robineau said, citing the committee had to look into the fact the rule was broken and not just the intent.

“I think so,” she said, when asked if she felt Guttman’s approval of the website, with the illegal request for the student numbers, had any bearing on the committee’s decisions. “I would’ve liked to think it had more bearing — but now it’s time to move on.”

“I think the elections committee went through all of the evidence,” said presidential candidate Patrick Harris, indicating that although he knows Robineau’s offence was disqualifiable, he stands by the committee’s decision. “They’re the ones running the show,” he remarked.

“The bylaw says soliciting students is grounds for disqualification; it also states clearly ‘I didn’t do it’ isn’t an excuse,” said Steve Learmonth, another presidential opponent.

“They say the CRO reviewed the site and it’s his fault,” said presidential contender Dave Molenhuis. “I don’t want to see her booted out, so I’m happy with the decision.”

“That’s rough. I had a similar problem and put up my website without telling anyone and I got five [demerit points],” said presidential candidate Nick Staubitz.

 

 

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